The name 'Moundsville' represents the many Indian mounds that
once occupied this area of the Ohio Valley. The Grave Creek Mound
has been preserved and is located within this West Virginia town's
city limits, across the street from its eerie old, stark stone
neighbor, the West Virginia Pen.
This Indian burial mound was constructed around 200 B.C. The mound
stands 69-feet tall and has a base diameter of 295-feet. The
original mound was also encircled by a moat 5-feet deep, and 40-feet wide.
Grave Creek Mound construction required over 60,000 tons of earth. Since the workers
didn't use horses or the wheel, that meant a lot of baskets of dirt!
The mound-building Adena People lived in West Virginia from
approximately 1,000 B.C. to 1 A.D. Around 500 B.C., the Adena
culture in the Ohio Valley slowly gave way to the Hopewell culture.
GRAVE CREEK MOUND
This world-famous burial mound was
built by the Adena people sometime
before the Christian Era. The mound
was originally 69 feet high, 295 feet
in diameter, and was encircled by a
moat. There were many mounds in the
area ~ hence the city's name: Mounds-
ville. In 1838, the Grave Creek Mound
was tunnelled into and two log tombs
with several burials and grave offer-
ings were found.
West Virginia Historic Commission, 1963
Searchable Google Map to the Grave Creek Indian Mound
Delf Norona Museum &
Grave Creek Mound
Grave Creek Mound
First museum at the mound's base
Looking up the mound
Stone steps lead visitors (with good wind) to the
View from the top of the 2,000 year old
Stone directional marker on top
Marshall County Court House
Roof of the museum built in 1915
Reconstructed stone steps
The old West Virginia Penitentiary
WEST VIRGINIA PENITENTIARY
Established 1866. A prison for men and women convicted of felonies
until prison for women was established at Pence Springs, 1947.
Capital criminals were hanged here, 1889-1950. Electric chair used
until death penalty was abolished, 1965.